10 Steps to Track Website CTAs as Events Using GA & GTM
When you have Google Analytics installed on your site, it’s easy to find your most popular pages, the demographics of your users, which pages perform well over others, and many other metrics. But what many people don’t realize is that with just a small amount of extra code, you can collect engagement stats ranging from clicks on buttons, links, social media profiles and more! A few years ago, this was something you would pass along to your developer to implement. But I’m here to tell you that even if you aren’t a developer, or can’t read/understand code, using Google Tag Manager makes it really really easy to set up event tracking all types of buttons on your website. So, if you want to wow your colleagues, your boss, or even your mom…read on.
Before anything, you need access to your site’s Google Analytics and you need a Google Tag Manager account with the code implemented on every page of your website. For training purposes and to make sure everything runs smoothly, use the Google Chrome browser.
1. Set up Google Tag Manager and implement both pixels on your website
Go to tagmanager.google.com to create a Tag manager account. At the top of the workspace home screen, you will see your container ID number which is formatted as “GTM-XXXXX.” Click that, and a box will pop up with instructions for implementing on your website.
2. Enable “Click Variables” in Google Tag Manager
3. Figure out which events you want to track on your website.
It could be a “buy now” button, or a “contact us” form, or an interactive scroll, but for this tutorial, I’m going to use the Facebook social media icon in the footer of 451marketing.com to track how many users click to our facebook page from our website. This is something we can’t normally see in the Google Analytics reports, because when a user clicks on the button it brings them to a new website.
4. Create a “generic” click trigger in Google Tag Manager.
Navigate to “Triggers” in the left-hand navigation in your Google Tag Manager account. Click “New” and name your trigger “Generic Click Trigger”. Click “Trigger Configuration” and select “All Elements” under the “Click” Section. Click “Save.”
5. Publish your container.
Click the red “PUBLISH” button in the top right hand corner of GTM. You can name your version configuration with notes, or just click publish when the secondary box pops up.
6. Open Your Website in GTM “Preview and Debug Mode”
Click the dropdown arrow next to “Publish” and click “Preview” next to the preview and debug section.
7. Open your website in the same browser in a new tab.
You should see the Google Tag Manger QUICK_PREVIEW load at the bottom of your browser on top of your website.
8. Click the CTA you want to track.
While holding my “CTRL” key on my keyboard so that the link click doesn’t reload my website, I click the facebook icon and immediately see a “gtm.click” under the summary section in the QUICK_PREVIEW. Click “Variables”. Depending on how your website was built, you may see variables like “click element,” “click classes,” “click id,” “click target,” “click URL” or “click text”.
9. Go back to the “Generic Click” Trigger, edit the name to be customized toward your event and add your CTA button’s variables.
Instead of leaving the trigger to fire on “all clicks,” switch it to “some clicks” and match up the click variables with what you saw in the preview and debug mode.
10. Create an event “Tag” that connects your trigger to a Google Analytics event.
In the left-hand navigation, click “Tags”. Click “New Tag” and name your tag. Select “Universal Analytics as the “Tag Type” and enter your Tracking ID. (This can be found under your website’s property in Google Analytics, in the “tracking code” section. Change the “Track Type” to “Event”. Label your category, action and label event tracking parameters with how you want them to appear in your Google Analytics Report. Scroll down and add your “trigger” that you just created. Click Save. Publish your workspace (repeat step 5).
Now, in Google Analytics, you should be able to see Events showing up as the Event Category, Event Action and Event Label you designated in step 10!